Rock star drops mansion bid

A German rock star has pulled out of negotiations to buy a lavish mansion for classical music concerts in north Wales.

Plas Gwynllifon, which is valued at £500,000, attracted early interest from Ulrich John Roth of 70s band The Scorpions.

But the guitarist and songwriter has pulled out of the deal, according to owners Coleg Meirion Dwyfor.

Built in 1836, the property is set in idyllic grounds with sculptures and fountains. Inside is a library, snooker room and dozens of bedrooms.

The college wants to sell the Caernarfon property to raise money for facilities at other sites.

The 45-year-old guitarist, who joined The Scorpions in 1973 and left in 1978 to pursue a solo career, had reportedly bought Plas Gwynllifon, and had promised neighbours that he was to lead a quiet lifestyle, fuelled by his first love of classical music rather than rock.

Roth had planned to spend a further £200,000 on the Grade One property’s grounds in the hope of staging classical concerts, but Meirion Dwyfor Principal Dr Ian Rees told BBC Wales he had changed his mind.

‘Guitars and artwork’

“He wanted to keep some expensive guitars and artwork here,” he said. “That would have been interesting but, after many months of negotiation which we hoped would reach a successful conclusion, he actually pulled out.

“We are based on three sites and we want to get rid of the house because it is taking money that should be spent on the students’ education.

“We recently invested £750,000 on the site, but we are a college and we are not really concerned with keeping old buildings.

“Our interest is to get more funds to put into the education and training of our students and to improve the facilities.”

The site is said to be an ideal retreat for those with a large enough bank balance, but it is hoped the sale will put money back into the area.

Dr Rees added: “That is in the hands of the purchasers but I would like to see some benefit brought to the area – maybe some employment.

“We would like to see it restored to its former glory. It has a great history and it is a lovely old house.”